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A Deeper Dive into Visual Management at Toyota

by Andrew Quibell
November 22, 2016

A Deeper Dive into Visual Management at Toyota

by Andrew Quibell
November 22, 2016 | Comments (5)

In a previous sketch I introduced Toyota’s approach to visual management, or Floor Management Display Systems (FMDS), including the six elements of creating FMDS. Now it’s time for a deeper dive into those six elements and explore how their approach guarantees an effective floor display will present compelling messages.

At Toyota it all starts with visualizing the standards. If you’ve implemented lean correctly, abnormalities within the process should automatically become more visible and apparent, i.e. unbalanced flow or a choke point in production. Driving the daily meeting and review cadence ensures these abnormalities are addressed and reacted to in real time to get back to standard operating conditions quickly.

Then you want to look at your systems and priorities – do they align with your hoshin objectives? Are you performing PDCA every day (incremental improvements)? And what do your systems prioritize? (At Toyota, the top priorities for a FMDS to address are generally safety, quality, low cost, and short lead-time.)

The remaining elements in my sketch drill down on the important topics of managing by sections and groups, reflection, attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) and the discipline to pursue daily kaizen, teach A3 thinking and, most critically of all, mange your change points.

Check out my animation to reinforce my message.

And once you've reviewed the sketch and animation, ask yourself this question: What can I do now based on what I’ve learned to put some, if not all, of this into practice in my organization?

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
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5 Comments | Post a Comment
Jeff Roberts November 28, 2016

Great Post, sketch provides a visual tool to define a process for visual managment ... using the tool to illustrate the tool!

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Dennis November 29, 2016

I understood that FMDS stood for Floor Management Development System.   Why the change to Display?

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Andrew Quibell November 30, 2016

Sure the text book definition is ‘development’, but with my post on this topic I am really trying to place a greater emphasis on the visual impact and communication piece under the ‘D’ – developing better ‘display’ methods for information, in a compelling manner. I feel it is critical to grab team members attention immediately upon review of a board with graphical information or data in order to highlight the abnormality, concern or bottleneck, in order for them to take prompt action in real time without unnecessary delay. I feel based on what I have seen in practice over the years we too often fall over at this point and don’t effective display information to provoke the right actions or response….we need to develop this piece to be more action orientated..

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Brad December 15, 2016

Great article and animation.  I would love to use it as a teaching tool. Is there any way I could get the full animation in some type of file that I could print out poster size? If so would that be ok with you- since you authored it!



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luis December 18, 2016

Thanks Andrew, very educative.


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